Money tree pachira plant unhappy -- help!

lauriedutch(5 / CO)April 27, 2006

I acquired a money tree (pachira) plant as a gift last November. The nursery transplanted it, so I don't know what size the original pot was. The plant has never been very happy here. It has four lovely braided trunks.

Several of the leaves are turning yellow; they are at various stages of turning yellow so that a few are yellow and others are starting to turn yellow by getting brown spots then turning yellow. A few of the green bunches of leaves at the top are drooping. Watering day doesn't perk them up.

I have been careful to avoid overwatering. I water once a week and by the time I water it, the soil at the top has pulled back from the edges a bit.

I read that these plants like lots of bright indirect light, but I don't think I've found a happy location for the plant yet. I'm in Colorado where it's very sunny. It didn't like our NW bay window, so I moved it away from all direct light across the room for the rest of winter. It perked up a bit there but recently has gone back to looking unhappy. I recently the plant to a north-facing window but it's too soon to tell if it's happier there.

In mid-summer, the plant will get some direct sunlight; should I close the blind in the afternoon to avoid the plant from being in direct sunlight?

Do these plants like humidity, and if so, should I spray the leaves once in a while since it's so bone dry here in Colorado?

Will a cool breeze from the window bother the plant? I usually open the north-facing window at night on hot days.

Do money trees like/need any plant food or something like Miracid once a year or more often?

Any and all advice on how to cheer up the plant is welcome. Thanks.


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canttype(0b (Cold North))

Here we go again. I don't mean to be rude or glib, but these darn plants give everyone troubles it seems.

At the bottom of the form page is a search engine. Type in Pachira and/or Money Tree and you'll see what I am talking about! There are pages of posts that sound exactly like yours. (I've included a link to one of the longest and informative ones)

These plants are a "Money Tree" for the growers and sellers only and deffinately not for the owner/caregiver! My advice is to read the other posts and do not worry too much about it's decline as I don't think there is much hope for these beauties once you bring them home! (I've personally killed 2 of them!)

Over watering and root rot(or rot at the base of the trunk) seems to be the most common problems with them and once it starts.... well, there isn't usually much one can do.

I wish you luck:-)

Here is a link that might be useful: One Money Tree post.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 12:39PM
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skalavagunta(Zone 5)

I have a Money Tree. It's been about 2 years now. When I bought it was not even a foot. Now it's about 20 inches tall. These go through a rough time as soon as they come home, but they will recover.
My Care Schedule:
I have it near the east facing window where it gets direct sun for 4 hours a day.
During summer, I water it once every week or so. I haven't given it any fertilizers TILL DATE.
During winter, the tree takes some rest (I think). SO I water it every 4 weeks. NO FERTS. I start reducing the watering frequency when the older leaves start falling off.
Spring and fall, I gradually increase or decrease the frequency according to the following season.
The soil is usually bone dry when I water. When watering I water it thoroughly. The humidity around it is about 50%. I have it with my other tropical plants.

The tree is in peat+vermiculite+perlite mix. NO soil. It is in a small pot, given the size of the tree itself.

Currently my tree is putting out new growth.
Hope this helps you.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 10:12AM
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lauriedutch(5 / CO)


Thanks for the excellent advice. I'll be sure the plant gets more light, water it less next winter, etc.

Diane, your message and the messages via the link you supplied indicate that these plants are very fussy/picky. They appear to dislike changes in their environment. Thanks.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 12:15PM
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my money tree is about 3 to 4 feet tall. it lost almost all of its leaves and the one left are droopy and brown-spottes. it is in direct sunlight now. what should i do?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 4:22PM
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I too am having a problem with the leaves having brown edges. Any advice?
Also, I have new sprouts coming out of the trunk. They are about 12" tall. Can I cut them off and try to start a new plant?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 11:29AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Brown leaf edges might be too much water.

Joyn, I grew my Pachira from a single leaf that had snapped off the mother plant (my brother's plant). It took about 3 or 4 months before I had confirmation that the leaf was rooting. I think your success rate will depend on the time of year/season.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 12:11PM
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lauriedutch(5 / CO)

I started to spray the leaves of my plant in 2007 and it stayed happy and green for a full year. In fact, it reminded me of a plastic plant because nothing changed (no new leaves, no dead leaves) for a full year. This winter I stopped the daily spray and now this spring (2008), some of the leaves are dying and there are lots of new ones sprouting. Such a strange plant!

In any case, these plants seem to need and like being sprayed 1-2 times a day.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 2:24PM
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I have two Pachiras..Both are grown in small 4" clay pots. When I treated older Pachiras as tropicals, (larger containers, frequent watering) they died.
One is 4+ yrs old, the other 5 months, both are grown as succulents: watered when soil is dry, and like LD, misted daily. Toni

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 7:25PM
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lauriedutch(5 / CO)

Yes, hopefulauthor is right, just water when dry. I water mine once a week, enough to get all the dirt wet but not enough to drain out the bottom. I figured out how much to water it and stick with that amount every week.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 7:30PM
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I agree with SRivida--I got my plant at home Depot when it was 6". I've had it for 5 years and it's still doing fine. I water it deeply when I remember (once every 4-6 weeks in winter, every 2 weeks or so in summer) and mist it when I remember. I've never fertilized it and I repotted it only once. It's growing a few feet from a bright indirect window and I've never moved it in 5 years. It's about 3 feet tall now with lush green large leaves. It seems that most owners have killed it from kindness (overwater, moving too much, too big a pot, etc.)

Maybe it's a money plant in that it reminds us of how we should treat our nest egg money--don't fuss too much over it, find a good place (fund) to settle it and don't move it around but just watch it grow (or do what it will). Have a zen approach :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 5:43PM
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wandering_willow(6 NYC)

Wow, I think I have the world's friendliest pachira lol. Mine likes to stay lush, and comfort me when I have done something stupid which has angered my other plants, lol. I've had it for years and it tends to be on the more cooperative end of everything I'm growing.

It's true what everyone is saying about less water than a typical tropical though. I don't water mine until the soil is dry all the way down to the knuckle of my pointer finger when I stick it in, and then i flush the soil completely. I also think maybe a little less than full sun too, Mine tends to bake and wilt if the light is too strong, and does fine in the winter under some growlights inside. I've never fertilized it, or done anything in particular to encourage it, but I I do give it lots of love and chat with it while I'm making my rounds about my plants.

Anyway, Best of luck!!

and PS, I love the nest-egg analogy Zenthumbs!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:31PM
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I received my Money tree through the mail, my friend rec'd hers as a gift both have similar problems.I rec'd my tree with no leaves, transplanted to clay pot with loose soil, at first it was growing all new the new leaves are turning brown and falling off\plus a couple of trunks are no longer green but brown.I water once a week with all my other has indirect light and lighht from overhead lamp.Can I do anything or is it too late?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 4:34PM
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Don't water on schedule, water when the soil feels dry. Move the plant to a brighter location. These plants like higher light indoors. Indirect light and overhead light is not enough.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:15PM
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Help, I've had this Money Tree for 12 years. Over the last year or two, a yellow fungus has started to grow on top of the soil. I have repotted and brand new soil three times and still grows back. I don't give the plant anything but water from the sink every few days. I really hope its not killing my Pachira. Please Help Me!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 8:53PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

First of all, the foliage really does look lush.
But that soil is not something I would use for a prized plant.
I think you and your plant will be much happier with a cleaner, more porous and free-draining mix.
I would also recommend raising the level of the trunks a bit and allowing the base to dry.

A mix of bark, perlite, and grit (turface, pumice, lava rock, granite, quartz, et cetera...)
would make for an excellent mix.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:40PM
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